Richard Panik was dead weight on the Caps roster until he found his niche.
|11.3||time on ice per game|
|54.7||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|51.4||5-on-5 expected goal percentage, adjusted|
|64.8||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A short description of each chart:
When the Caps acquired Richard Panik, I was worried. For so long the Caps were used to elite finishing talent to push them over the top when maybe their puck possession wasn’t perfect. But Panik is a below-average shooter whose value comes from elsewhere. Anyone who might have expected him to fill a gap left by Brett Connolly or Andre Burakovsky for a burst of scoring in the bottom six was going to be — and ultimately was — disappointed.
Panik spent most of the season with Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin on an underwhelming third line. But then late in the season he joined Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway and saw way different results. Those two combinations are really different in how they performed, but maybe not at first glance. They both dominated puck possession — flirting with 60 percent of shot attempts — but his third line had atrocious shot quality.
I can’t recall seeing a gap between shot-attempt percentage and expected-goal percentage so wide across a mature sample of 245 minutes. The Hagelin-Eller-Panik line just got destroyed in their own paint. Meanwhile, the Panik version of the fourth line had everything going well: 13.8 percent shooting, a ridiculous 85.7 percent share of high-danger chances (in a tiny 48-minute sample), and 4-to-1 goal differential. I’m sure that level of success would regress as they play more together, but it still seems like a better chemistry match for Panik.
That’s good news, but it’s also maybe not the best way for the Caps to spend $2.75 million of their salary cap space. Maybe there’s a better way to use Panik, but I’d suspect it would best be away from Carl Hagelin, who goes to the net but can’t finish.
So it turns out we didn’t have a ton or Panik content, but what we did may surprise you.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 9, 2020
If Panik is a fourth liner, is that a waste? How would you use him instead?
Read more: Japers Rink
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.